12 oz. Mouse: An Interview with Matt Maiellaro

If you make a quick Google search for “12 oz. Mouse,” it won’t take long to find out how amazingly polarizing an eleven-minute cartoon can be.  Viewers whose eyes are snagged late at night by its sketchbook visuals either proclaim it to be either “the greatest cartoon ever,” or “absolute nonsense” with very little ground claimed between those extremes. Over the course of its two-season run, it has become overwhelmingly clear that this is one of Adult Swim’s most unique programs, and, fittingly, at the head of its production is long-time absurdist comedy writer, Matt Maiellaro.

After years of working in rotating groups of writers on Adult Swim’s progenitor, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and with his co-writer Dave Willis on the increasingly popular Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Matt Maiellaro finally went solo last year with 12 oz. Mouse - an animated television series so bizarre, it makes a chainsaw-wielding milkshake look perfectly sane.  Through its blend of minimal character design and an obscure, yet complex conspiracy plot, the show has been evoking intense love and hate from midnight viewers since its premiere back in June of 2005. 

Yet, despite being considerably more controversial, 12 oz. Mouse relies notably upon many of the same characteristics that made its predecessors so appealing - it’s an intelligent mixture of carefully-paced, dialogue-centric humor, contrasted with bursts of over-the-top action sequences, all carried out by an unusual group of barely-animated characters. 12 oz. Mouse simply takes many of these foundational details to a new extreme and pushes beyond the mild accessibility of Space Ghost and Aqua Teen.  In general, the voice actors recite the script in far drier tones, the editing invokes more pregnant pauses, and the deliberately-sketchy character design is far more rudimentary than Matt’s previous projects (and quite likely every other show on television).  The characters range from a villainous, blind, pink square to a squealing, flying, laser-eyed, gun-toting chinchilla. In addition to this, the show’s serial plot is so detailed and massive that many newcomers have find it difficult to grasp what exactly is happening, and why.  This isn’t to say that if you’re one of the loyal fans who’s been watching since episode one, you won’t be confused - just less so, which can actually be part of the fun.  The great thing is that even when it gets confusing, the writing is generally so well-executed that it transcends all of the doodles and plot intricacies, allowing viewers to laugh at the pure ridiculousness of the situations the characters find themselves in. Why is a jetpack-wearing spider assisting a hook-armed hillbilly in releasing a killing machine made of corndogs? Most will be laughing too hard to care.

But despite its charm, the show’s challenging aspects make it relatively easy - although saddening for many - to understand why 12 oz. Mouse was cancelled in early October, this year.  Fortunately, unlike many intriguing shows that unexpectedly have their plugs pulled, the team behind 12 oz. Mouse was notified seven episodes in advance, giving Matt Maiellaro and his crew the chance to steer the story toward a proper ending.  That conclusion came a few weeks ago in the form of “Prolegomenon”, the show’s twentieth, and perhaps final episode.

In commemoration of this finale, and a uniquely hilarious series of episodes, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the creator and writer behind this interesting little gem and finally gain further insight into the show’s origin, construction, and future.

Shark and Rectangular BusinessmanEven after writing for Space Ghost Coast to Coast and creating a show about anthropomorphic fast food items, 12 oz. Mouse still stands out as the most strange and intricate of your projects.  How exactly did you come up with the concept and characters for this series?

It’s like, there’s this Mouse and he’s in this world.  I don’t know what’s going on yet because he doesn’t.  Since he’s a mouse, let’s make the other characters non-mouse-like.  Let’s make them all interesting and unique.  Instead of creating ha-ha jokey-jokes like everything else, let’s build something slowly that takes on more form.  Something more concrete.  Something’s that real.  Let’s let the humor arrive naturally through well-developed characters and let’s let them say what needs to be said.  Is it weird that the town is cardboard?  Sure.  But only to us - people who don’t live in cardboard towns.  The environments these characters interact in are real.  Everything is tangible and has been so since it’s been so, and so is real.  So again, here we are.  One mouse - this world.  Where does it go?  Lead us there.  Take us into the dark and show us its secrets, because that’s what smart America wants.  They want to fill in pieces, figure out things, and get attached to complex characters that are simple to visualize. Especially characters that represent true life.  Start a story.  Let’s take the pilot: A drunk mouse robs a bank - seemingly simple.  If that’s all he does, it becomes one-dimensional and instantly boring.  Take it further.  Un-shadow the shadows.  Mix a bunch of stuff together.  Finance, debauchery, human organs, fish, umbrellas, music, archerists and monsters that even today would not exist.  Write it down, figure it out, and have a blast making it.

With Space Ghost, we had fun with dada humor, pregnant pauses (thank you Michael Cahill), and were bound to one location with three main characters.  We got away with a lot because it was “all coming from outer space” and SG himself was an idiot.  With Squidbillies, Pete and I worked with a more identifiable humor and set the locale in a real United States town - but they were squids, so instantly there was funny [stuff] without having to say much right off the bat.  Then you add their more-than-country voices, an idiot son with a more idiot dad, and a grandmother that doesn’t know night from day, and kablam - instant show.  Aqua Teen was a little different.  There was an instant gimmick: food items.  Everyone had to get past the gimmick before they started liking the show - or the characters. We purposely stayed away from food jokes because they were already food.

One of the biggest issues of controversy among the show's detractors is the simplistic, sketch-like character design.  Some details like the words running across Rhoda's body have even prompted speculation that the characters were drawn onto pages of the script as it was developed. How did you end up choosing this style of design over a more traditional, polished cartoon look, and how much were you involved in the design process?

It was cheaper if I designed the characters, so that’s what we got - me drawing stuff as best as I can.  Then we sent them to [Radical Axis] for limited animation and color.  Rhoda was drawn on the back of a Perfect Hair script page and when John [Brestan] scanned it in, the type showed through, but it didn’t matter and we went with it.  I know the show got a lot of slack right off the bat due to the animation style, but the show wasn’t about the animation, and it took a few episodes for viewers to realize this.  I did draw most of the original backgrounds for the first five or six episodes.  Then as things got busier, John or Tom [Nicolette] would draw what they needed [for] scenes when I wasn’t around.  A lot of the time I would forget about a prop and John would end up doing it in my style, which is third grade.  I remember writing the clock into the pilot, in the Shark office scene, and going over the timing with John during the radio play, but I forgot to draw [it].  A few days later, there was the clock that John had drawn, and I liked it.  The clock runs the whole show and I completely forgot to draw it!  So, back to the animation, I started the style and always drew the characters - but backgrounds and props leaked their way into editor and PA hands.  Amalockh, however, was drawn and animated by Todd Redner at Radical Axis.  I had discussed my ideas with [him about] how he should look and act, then Todd took it from there.

Also on the note of character design, I have to ask this:  What made you choose Old Kentucky Shark as one of the major villains in this series?

It was free and already drawn, plus, it came from an awesome Space Ghost [episode] and we thought it was funny as is.

Producer Man and the HandThe voice cast for 12 oz. Mouse has done a superb job of making hilarious and compelling characters out of the previously mentioned sketches.  Some of the voice actors like Matt Harrigan are recognizable as people you previously worked with (albeit, mostly as writers), but others like Kurt Soccolich are new names, and equally impressive.  How did you select the voice actors for each character, and what was the recording process like with them?

The cast is outstanding.  Since there was hardly a budget to work with, I gathered people around the office to run into the booth and record lines.  Kurt already had that sort of smooth arrogance in his voice, so he made the perfect Rectangular Businessman.  Harrigan is always looking to make light of a situation, and that fit Liquor, especially since he always knew more than what he was saying.  Nick Weidenfeld should win an award for Peanut Cop.  It just keeps going from there. Melissa [Warrenburg] is Robogirl, the fast talking know-it-all. She had that Charlie Brown-ism to her voice that I needed for her character.  Bonnie Rosmarin plays Man/Woman.  Bonnie is a production manager for Toonami and is the furthest thing from a voice-over actress, but she could deliver that pouty, stand-offish quality that I was looking for.  Nick [Ingkatanuwat] was The Eye. He’s in his own world at all times and when you have a chance to break in there and interrupt him - stand way back.  He sweats creativity.  Adam Reed plays Shark.  No one else could. Scott Luallen - Rooster.  Scott’s voice can be heard from Clearwater and his character acting is unsurpassed.  Golden Joe [is] played by my production manager, Vishal Roney.  I couldn’t even write Joe’s lines after Vishal did his first take on the character.  In future scripts I would put in my bone of the line for Vishal and he would meat it up on his own.   Then there’s me.  I was just scratching in the lines and before I knew it John had already put together the pilot.  We sat there listening to it and he said, “You sound pretty good.”  "Cool, I’m free.  Let’s move on."

The voice-over sessions were quite simple.  I knew exactly what I was looking for, so it didn’t take much time to accomplish.  Whereas an Aqua Teen takes an entire day to record, Mouse came in [at] around an hour tops.  It also helped that the dialogue was clumsy and disjointed.  The actors never read the scripts ahead of time, so when they were placed in front of the mic it was usually the first or second take that nailed it.

When the pilot for 12 oz. Mouse first aired, it initially struck me as a very funny show with a seemingly random plot - even more obscure than many episodes of Space Ghost and Aqua Teen.  But as the series progressed, many viewers have come to realize that the show has a vastly detailed plot underlying it, which connects some of the odd events from earlier episodes to major plot points in later ones.  In that way, it's been considerably different from previous shows you've worked on.  How much of the plot was planned from the beginning, and how much was written or changed as the series progressed?

It actually started out as a disjointed humor-fest, but maybe only to me.  I thought the show might stand alone in episodes, like Aqua Teen.  As I was finishing the pilot and starting the second episode, I snapped into the serial thing.  It somehow made sense that if what we saw didn’t make sense, there should be some sense to it.  If I introduce this new character at the end of [episode] one that we know nothing about, then we need to explore who this character is and what he wants [in the next episode].  It was by the end of [episode] two that I started mapping out this grid of characters and figuring out who was bad, who was good, and who might have been bad once but is now still in the middle.  Then, even from there, I didn’t quite know where the show was going, but I knew how it was supposed to ultimately end - which is not how we ended it with episode 20.

Obviously, in the past you've dealt with challenges pitching bizarre shows (like Aqua Teen), but I imagine that given this show's art and plot, pitching 12 oz. Mouse must have been even more difficult.  How did you go about pitching a show like this to the network?

You walk in with a script you’ve already written and read it with the guys.  Then you say, “This will cost about five dollars and will take some of the paper sitting in the copier.”

IThe New Guy dances atop a captured Skilletn contrast to the show's characters, the intro sequence with the exploding cardboard buildings seems as though it took a fair amount of effort to create. What was it like constructing that?

I spent three weeks putting the thing together.  I worked with Nick “The Eye” and Nick Day making buildings out of pizza boxes and whatever cardboard I could scrounge up around the earth.  Making the buildings themselves wasn’t hard - it was cutting out all the frickin' windows that gave you instant finger rabies.  I built the set in a warehouse that Turner owns because I knew it was going to be too big to make in the office.  I used three sheets of 4" x 8" plywood and they were each reinforced with 2" x 4" boards on all the edges.  I screwed and glued the frames together, then painted the sheets a battleship gray.  Two of the plys were going to be the main city we ran the Moco [camera] through and I built a third, which doesn’t match the real city, to blow up.  So, after days and days of making buildings, painting them red and black, and taping them together and gluing the edges down because the tape kept popping off the cardboard, I finally started to lay it out.  I think I had about 340 buildings to make a city with and I had to leave six inches clearance on all sides and corners so the Moco could pass through it.  Cool.  I’m all set.  One day before the shoot and I lay it out.  But here’s the problem - I needed to build a horizon so the camera wouldn’t see off the set.  I’m out of buildings. So, I made about a hundred more to ring the set with.  I just ended that in a prepositional phrase.  Then there I was, gluing down the buildings finally and it’s four o’clock.  I have to make friggin' roads somehow.  I ran to Home Depot and bought every can of texturized black spray paint available and ran back to the warehouse to spray roads.  [I'm thinking,] "I’ll deal with the [lane] lines before the shoot.  I don’t know how I’m going to deal with the lines, but it’s a road, and a road usually has lines."  I got home around 2:00 AM and the shoot call was at 7:00 AM, but the set had to be there by 7:00 AM, so I didn’t sleep but an hour, then ran back up to the warehouse to load the three set pieces into the Moco truck.  The shoot went really well.  We had hired Bob Shelly to place tiny explosives and smoke bombs and sparky things all throughout certain buildings for the finale.  While Bob was prepping the “blow” set, we were busy running the Moco through the city and getting the shots we needed, and didn’t need, to make the opening.  The Moco looks like the ED-209 from Robocop.  It’s an amazing machine/camera/thing.  It does whatever you tell it do, and it will do it over and over until the world’s electricity runs out.

12 oz. Mouse is a show that seems to have been influenced by a variety of sources.  Many of the action sequences and themes are direct parodies of films like The Matrix, while the show's surreal atmosphere and odd nuances seem reminiscent of David Lynch's work.  Some fans even speculate that certain episodes are direct parodies of Lost.  What were some of your influences for this series, and are there some parodies that fans have yet to catch?

I am a David Lynch fan and I have seen the first two Matrix movies, but I have never seen a frame of Lost.  I don’t watch much television at all unless it’s the Food Network or Fox News.  I guess I’m into “F” shows, even though my Tivo is filled to the digital brim with Barefoot Contessa.  So I must admit, "F" and "B" are letters to shows that spark my interest in a way.

I am influenced by a lot of stuff:  Music, movies, smells.  Things that create a visual reaction or a wonder are things that make me influenceable.  I own over 900 DVDs, all horror and action - wait, I have one comedy: Bottle Rocket.  That one is very funny.  I do own some Muppet stuff and Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, but that’s it for funny stuff.  The rest of it is emotion-tearing, edge-of-your-seat stuff like Knock Off and Hard Boiled.  I recently watched Pulse - awesome.  I had no idea it was going where it was going. Then when it got there, I was like, “Wow, I knew that was going to happen.”  Also, Slither - a Tremors wannabe and was damned close in succeeding.  I’m into high-definition movies now - my old collection will just have to sit there until they can become hi-def.  Horror.  That’s what fuels me.  Horror fuels America.  Horror lives in America.  Horror is what comedy is missing.

True, we did re-create some shots that are also seen in The Matrix and Hard.  But it’s not parody actually, it’s just - like [the way that] they shot those other scenes in those movies.  The show has a lot of action and the best way to showcase it is with slow motion and original music.  I did rip off John Woo with the doves - caught me, but you can’t copyright doves.  Doves lend an innocence to scenes that are death-defying so naturally I had them put in.

As far as other parodistical type things, shoot.  I’m a huge fan of Ruby Rod from Fifth Element, so that’s where Golden Joe kind of stemmed from - although Vishal brought alter ego to the records for that character.  The tie-bots drilling into characters is very reminiscent of the silver ball in Phantasm, isn’t it?  There are probably a lot of things in the show that remind viewers of other movies. Like when Mouse robs the bank, and Butch Cassidy robbed that bank once.  Or when Mouse and Skillet hang out and play rock music - and Spinal Tap did something very similar. Coincidence?  Or Mouse?

Roostre, Spider, and the Corn-DroidThere are a wide variety of musical styles used throughout the show, from the Sadies' country-twinged music played in Rhoda's bar, to your own rock music played by Fitz, to the lounge-based songs by Tongo Hiti, and the dramatic orchestral music used in the most recent episodes.  Some of this music is credited, and some, like the orchestral and ambient music, is not.  Could you share a bit about the process of music selection and creation for the show, and the different artists you've worked with?

Yes.  I’ve been a huge fan of Nine Pound Hammer since I heard “Hayseed Timebomb” in the early nineties.  Their music and sense of humor seemed like a perfect fit for the 12 oz. theme song.  I got in touch with the band during the pilot and told them I wanted a song that represented this carefree Mouse [who] does things like drive drunk, film porno and shoot guns.  They were instantly into it.  The guitar player, Blaine Cartwright, was already a huge Adult Swim fan and was totally stoked to be doing a song for a show.  I met them up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the day after my honeymoon and watched them track it in the studio.  It was amazing.  It was amazing to see and hear a band come together and make something that became cooler than I ever thought it could be.

The Sadies, with their western styles, were perfect for Rhoda’s death and the Mouse interrogation scenes.  The reverbed guitars and vibrato enhanced the mysterious moods that were needed.

Tongo Hiti is run by Mike Geir.  I used to see Mike perform with his swing band, The Useless Playboys, back in the early 90’s.  I ran into Mike at a party well into the Aqua Teen years and I told him I was looking for some Hawaiian-style music for the show - it just so happens he has a Hawaiian-style band.  One phone call lead to the next and suddenly we were in the studio recording "Princess Cruiser."  It’s a hauntingly beautiful theme.  We later worked up "Ampullae of Lorenzini" and the swing version of the 12 oz. Mouse theme.  Mike’s wife, Shannon, writes all the lyrics and he arranges the music.  Amazing musicians.  Please catch them at Trader Vic’s if you are in Atlanta.

Skillet's drum solo was arranged and performed by Brian Pulito of Nine Pound Hammer.  Brian is a perfectionist and also plays with another band in Lexington called The Yellow Belts.

"Push" was originally a needle-drop piece that wasn’t called "Push," which John put into the “crash through Rooster’s window” scene.  Michael Kohler and I re-wrote the piece and pushed the energy level of what the scene needed.  "F-Off" was something I wrote in the Space Ghost days.  I had recorded it at one point with a friend and the Gilligan’s Island lyrics fit it quite nicely at the time.  For Mouse, I tracked it again at Kohler’s studio and he played all the drums and 12-string guitar during the break.  We got started on the thing one day and fit it to match the scene in the pilot and he looked at me and said, “Is that the whole thing?”  No.  Of course it wasn’t.  Let’s rock it up for three minutes and end it with this awesome “march off the stage in a British Uniform” chord progression.  I played my Ibanez RG through his Sansamp and we got that thick sound by tracking it twice.

"Auraphull" was a unique episode in that it almost totally departed from the plot in order to showcase some of the musical artists you mentioned.  That one, along with "Star Wars VII" - which struck me as funny in the same way that the "Fire Ant" episode of Space Ghost did - seemed to step outside the bounds of a normal television show in even more drastic ways than the plot itself.  What made you decide to venture away from the show's usual story line to make those episodes?

Here comes something.  Honestly, for "Auraphull," I was running behind schedule because the shows became more complicated to produce.  So I asked my friend if he wouldn’t mind taking all the raw footage from the opening along with some of the cool music and making a piece that would represent a Mouseian mood.  Then it was John who recommended we should add a scene in there to make it an official episode, and since he was already working on episode 14 where the Cop is now a Fireman, we opted to add it in.  As for "Star Wars VII," I had to finish out what Fitz had gotten himself into underneath Rooster’s shack, but I was getting pressure from the network to add more [humor] to the show.  I took Shark’s rambling car and decided to have it not start for the rest of the evening.  Just as we did in "Fire Ant," it’s somewhat of a realistic narrative on what would happen if you (A) followed an ant to its home, or (B) tried to start your car for a long time without knowing how a car works.  With Space Ghost, as with Squidbillies and Aqua Teen, they’re self-contained [episodes], so it doesn’t matter where we take it or what happens.  With Mouse, I dealt with Shark and Square Guy as their true-character selves.  The car not starting symbolizes Shark’s vulnerability and the harmonica store represents RBM’s valueless morals.  The very fact he decides not to buy one means that there is something out there that he doesn’t know.  Not knowing is a weakness that contradicts Shark’s ego - even though he is in just about the same position.  And, of course, yellow rain - a homage to Phantasm. At least that’s what I think - Ted [Murphy] put it in there.

AmalockhOne aspect of the show that I've found very intriguing is the huge effect it has had on its fans.  Many of the fans have grown very attached to these characters, despite their sketch-like appearance.  Several people mentioned that they even cried after the pre-finale, "Farewell." Clearly, you've created some very memorable personalities through these characters, and the fans' reaction to them has been very different than your previous works.  What are your thoughts on the 12 oz. Mouse fan base?  Have their reactions been what you expected?

12 oz. fans are in a league of their own.  They’re smart enough to get it, and they’re smart enough to look into the visuals, process the story, and theorize on an outcome.  I am proud that I struck a chord in people who are looking for something new and interesting and are tired of being spoon-fed jokes.  I read some posts where fans were headed to the Bible to figure out a code in the show.  How cool is that?  I wish I had used the Bible to code something like those people also thought the Tooth Fairy did in Manhunter.

I grew attached to characters as well.  I cried also when Skillet died.  He was always going to die.  He wasn’t supposed to come back in episode 20.  Liquor is seen at his gravesite in the future in episode 17 or 18 and the little bugger was supposed to stay down.

Over the past weeks, a couple of episodes have aired on the Adult Swim Fix with unfinished audio, which you've noted is because 12 oz. Mouse production has fallen a bit behind schedule lately.  What is the average timeframe in which an episode is created, and what are the different stages it goes through?  What events led to the recent production delays?

Let’s start with the average timeframe.
Write a script:  One night.
Record:  One hour.
Edit radio play and approve: One week.
Final Picture: 12-14 weeks.
Audio:  5-7 days.

I’m sure John would agree and disagree on those times.  The show started out pretty simple and as we progressed we tried some things that were cool.  Then we said, "Wow, that’s cool, let’s do more 'cool.'"  So the timeframe for the final picture got longer.  Mouse is the only show that we finish in Final Cut Pro - all others are finished in After Effects.  I know zero about both programs, but fortunately John is the master and when I say, “Let’s do that in slo-mo and have fire behind him,” John sighs hugely and disappears for a long smoke.  Then he comes back in, throws a foil-wrapped sandwich on top of the vectorscope to heat it up, and says, “This will take a few hours,” in a very confident way.

Recently we fell behind schedule because the Aqua Teen movie was jamming up our audio guy, Michael Kohler.  That happened around August and it was a traffic jam until the end.  He was also mixing Aqua Teen episodes and the last of the Birdman ones.  Mouse episodes 18 and 19 were turned in the Sunday they aired - so the sweetened audio wasn’t able to make The Fix (because they encode the shows that Friday afternoon).  At the end of the week and year, we got everything completely delivered except one Aqua Teen episode - which we are going to sweeten after the movie.

As I recall, 12 oz. Mouse was initially reported to have been greenlit for a 20-episode second season, which was later shortened to thirteen, due to its cancellation.  This has been the topic of much speculation for fans.  Some think that the reason for the cancellation was the typical one - that ratings were low, and others point to a strange poll Adult Swim held on their Web site, asking visitors whether or not they should get rid of the show.  Can you clarify the details of the show's cancellation, and the impact it had on the story line you had planned?

I had previously written a long explanation to this question, but now I realize the answer is I cannot answer it. Please ask Adult Swim and forward me the response.  

Peanut Cop and the Shadowy FigureI'll definitely do that (and hopefully I'll get a response). Back in November, you mentioned that there was the possibility of the show continuing in the form of online episodes.  Since then, has there been any further news regarding this online continuation?  If so, what direction will the show head next, plot- and character-wise?

All I can say right now is that I’ve written the next five episodes and we are beginning production in February of '07.  Ted Murphy will cut the webisodes.  Mouse has traveled off through the desert with Skillet and they’ve built a house out of mud and sticks.  Oh yes. 

Wonderful. So overall, how would you describe your experience working on 12 oz. Mouse?  How has it compared to the other projects you've worked on?

I didn’t work on 12 oz. as much as I lived it.  I was, and still am, constantly immersed in that world.  I was extremely fortunate to work with the most talented crew that talent has to offer.  12 oz. doesn’t compare to other shows I’ve worked on at all.  Aqua Teen does what it wants and always works out, most of the time in a predictable fashion.  Mouse kept us guessing and wondering. 

At one point, there were three different 12 oz. Mouse t-shirt designs, a poster, and a watch being distributed in various ways.  Can we ever expect to see any of that for sale again?

There are actually six shirts.  The black one with Mouse drinking a beer on it was produced by AS and I think they sold it online until they ran out.  Ted Murphy created the Mouse 007-style shirt and it was given away at Comicon 2006.  The remaining three shirts were produced by me to self-promote the series.  They [included] Skillet on drums, the Eyeball, and Rooster.  I have a few of each left sitting in boxes in one of my houses.  Scott often calls me up from Lexington and asks for more for his family.  Right.  The poster was cool.  It was put together by Jacob Escabado at AS.  It was a one-shot deal.  I think they ran a few hundred and plastered them in bathrooms all over the countryside.  The watch was another one-shot deal.  I was recently given a whole box of them, it was like, “Here, you want these?”  Sure, I took 'em.  I guess no one else wanted them.  Maybe I’ll hang them from my Christmas tree.  Gibson was going to put together a Mouse guitar until the cancellation news.  We are still making the Mouse guitar, but it’s not Gibson brand.

Also, I know that it's a bit early to be asking, but will there be a 12 oz. Mouse DVD, and are the rumors true about it containing the option to watch the series as a seamless movie?

There will be a 12 oz. DVD.  We are producing cut scenes to link each episode into a seamless movie and there will be no option to run it as episodes.  I don’t have a release date right now. 

Last of all, if not 12 oz. Mouse, what new projects are on the horizon for you that we can expect to see?

I have a ton of stuff happening.  As for Adult Swim, I am putting together a Western.  It’s crazy, like Perfect Hair Forever.  I have enlisted the interests of Paul Gilbert, Zakk Wylde, Tim Owens, Gene Simmons, Unearth, Nashville Pussy and Scott Luallen to be involved.  It’s sure to be a treat.

Thanks a ton for doing this interview! Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I have to give a total Hee Haw shout out to John, Ted, Nick “Eye”, Kohler, Thom, Brad [Zimmerman], Pierre [Cerrato], Craig [Hartin], and Josh [Mullinax].  These guys have brought more to 12 oz. Mouse than I could have ever imagined.  Their creativity, timing, art and vision is what makes the show smart, funny, and unique.  If it weren’t for my crew, I would have a piece of junk on my hands.  Thanks guys.  You know what you’re doing, and you know where to take it, and you know what this means.